New driving force for national and regional development

Sunday, 2017-05-14 12:33:34
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NDO – 2017 marks the second time Vietnam has been given the honour to host activities of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), which reflects the high trust of the international community for Vietnam after nearly two decades as a member of the forum.

The event promises to raise Vietnam’s global status, accelerate the country’s relations with other bilateral partners and offer a good opportunity for Vietnamese firms to bring about practical benefits.

The successful hosting of APEC meetings is expected to not only earn Vietnam high appreciation from international friends in terms of organisation work but also show Vietnam’s contributions to leading the APEC amidst the difficult and complicated context of global politics and economy, to the path of promoting trade liberalisation for sustainable development and prosperity in the region.

The world situation is fluctuating with increasing challenges and risks, causing adverse impacts on various economies. The global economic growth rate has plunged to its lowest level since the 2008-2009 economic slump, at a mere 2.2%. In addition, benefits from globalisation have not yet been evenly distributed, resulting in increasing trade protectionism and anti-globalisation mindsets, particularly in the United States and Europe.

In response to the current situation, Vietnam, as the host country, has proposed the theme “Creating new dynamism, fostering a shared future” for the 2017 APEC Year, with a view to facilitating growth via more extensive economic cooperation and enhanced integration in the Asia-Pacific region. Specifically, Vietnam has devised four cooperation priorities for the 2017 APEC Year, which have been backed by other economies, including promoting sustainable, creative and inclusive growth; promoting extensive regional economic connectivity; strengthening competitiveness and dynamism of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises; and enhancing food security, sustainable agriculture and climate change adaptation. With the abovementioned theme and priorities, APEC 2017, chaired and directed by Vietnam, plans to put forwards specific and practical initiatives, measures and policies aiming to generate benefits closely attached to the people and businesses in the region.

The APEC groups leading economies in the world and is the largest economic connection forum in Asia-Pacific accounting for 39% of the world’s population, 59% of the global gross domestic product (GDP), 48% of global trade and about 53% of the world’s total foreign direct investment (FDI) capital. Currently, 13 of Vietnam’s 15 free trade agreements have been signed with 18 member economies of the APEC. Seven member economies of the APEC are among Vietnam’s top ten export markets, including the US, China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Hong Kong (China), Malaysia and Singapore. Therefore, apart from contributing to the common success of the APEC 2017 multilateral cooperation, Vietnam will have the chance to lift bilateral relations with APEC member countries to a new height and a new level of efficiency. The forum will offer opportunities for bilateral meetings between APEC member countries, aiming to discuss specific directions, strategies and measures to deepen relations in order to catch up with rapid transformations experienced in world politics and economy, as well as to accelerate their mutual coordination, consensus and influence at regional and international forums, including APEC, ASEAN, ASEM and WTO, among others.

With its scale and significance, the APEC encourages world-leading businesses to do business and invest in Vietnam, which will create a “golden opportunity” for Vietnamese firms to tap into and develop. First of all, the APEC 2017 will enable Vietnamese businesses to have a active impact on institutional and policy changes. Featuring over 200 events of different sizes, including eight ministerial and minister-level conferences and the APEC CEO Summit in Da Nang, the most anticipated event by the business community, APEC 2017 will provide close and practical interaction activities between enterprises and senior officials as well as policy-makers. The interaction and attention received from policy-makers will be turned into the APEC’s policies and commitments, thereby bringing about favourable impacts for firms’ production and business operations. Secondly, the convergence of leading dynamic economies in the region and the world such as the US, Japan, the Republic of Korea and Australia, together with more than 1,000 foreign companies from APEC member nations, will provide numerous opportunities for Vietnamese enterprises to discuss cooperation with international partners.

Consequently, the 2017 APEC Year is considered a “golden moment” actively affecting Vietnamese businesses in interacting with authorised agencies towards policy and institution change, learning from global experience and fostering business partnership with more developed partners in the region. APEC 2017 is expected to strengthen the APEC’s status as a leading regional forum that takes the lead in promoting growth, integration and connection in the Asia-Pacific region.